What Should I Do After A Boating Accident: Moving Forward In Nampa

Summertime is boating time. Boating is generally equated with good times, good memories, and sometimes a nice stringer of fish. Unfortunately, good days are sometimes marred by boating accidents. Boating accidents are commonly caused by operator negligence and other avoidable problems, but these incidents are still, unfortunately, happening every year.

While we hope you and your loved ones have only great days on the water, knowing what to do if an accident occurs can save a lot of time and trouble down the road. You must be aware of what you can do if you are injured in such an incident.

What Should I Do After A Boating Accident?

From the moments immediately following a boating incident to the weeks and months you’ll experience down the line, it can be overwhelming to figure out what your next steps should be.

When it comes to accidents, there are three primary steps you need to work through:

  • Safety
  • Documentation
  • Follow-up

Learn how to work through these steps if you are involved in a boating accident.

Safety Comes First

Keeping everyone safe after a boating accident is your priority, so the immediate steps you take are going to revolve around ensuring the safety of everyone involved.

  1. Do A Headcount
    If the boat is still intact and afloat, checking to be sure everyone is still on board is paramount. If someone has indeed fallen overboard, get them back into the boat as soon as possible.
  2. Emergency First Aid
    Check all occupants for injuries and begin first aid, if needed. Emergency services should be called immediately if there are injuries; follow the instructions of emergency personnel if administering care.
  3. Consider Moving The Boat(s)
    In areas of high boating traffic or where you may be in the path of oncoming and/or larger vessels, do everything you can to get your boat to a place of safety.
  4. Get Help To The Scene
    If there are injuries and/or extensive damage to any of the vessels involved in the accident, call law enforcement immediately.
  5. Stay Put
    Don’t leave the scene of the accident until it’s clear that everyone is okay and/or has received the emergency medical care they require.
  6. Keep Tabs On Your Health
    Even if you and the other occupants of your boat feel okay, you may have injuries that aren’t obvious at first. Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident for a complete checkup.
What Should I Do After A Boating Accident?

Once you have ensured the safety of everyone on the scene through these steps, you should also ascertain whether or not the incident needs to be reported to the police if they have not yet been called.

A police accident report can help ascertain the facts of a boating accident. In some circumstances, it is also a federal requirement. These include fatalities, missing persons, injuries requiring more than basic first aid, damages to vessels amounting to more than $2,000, and/or accidents where the vessel is a total loss or is destroyed.

Don’t admit fault or speculate about the cause of the accident. There may be facts you aren’t aware of that will shed further light on the circumstances.

Document The Incident

After all medical needs are met, and everyone is out of harm’s way, gather contact information.

It can benefit you to begin documenting the incident from the day the accident happened. From taking pictures of the scene to gathering contact information from any witnesses, having this information on hand may be important down the line during an insurance claim or civil suit.

Possible options for documenting a boating accident includes all of the following:

  • Take photos of where the incident occurred, the boats’ current conditions, and any other aspect(s) of the scene you can document.
  • Get the names and general contact information for all other parties involved, including any witnesses.
  • Much like in a car accident, it’s a good idea to ask those at the scene if anyone has any photos or video of the incident as it was occurring.
  • Don’t forget the boat registration numbers and insurance information.
  • Give your statement to officials on the scene and ask them for their official contact points so you can get a copy of these records.
  • Collect contact information for the other parties involved in the incident, if applicable.

Boating accidents will not always lead to any sort of civil lawsuit, but there will certainly be insurance claims to sort out. While these can be handled through post-incident interviews and documentation, having information from the day of the accident could help your case.

Next Steps In Nampa

Next Steps In Nampa

Now that you’re dealing with the fallout from the boating incident, you might be unsure of how to ensure you get the right settlement from the insurance companies.

Having an experienced personal injury lawyer, such as those working here at Skaug Law, on your side will make these next steps easier than they would be alone.

We know the rules that are going to apply to your case, and we are ready to do the groundwork needed to make your claim successful. Plus, having the support of well-founded legal advice will give you much-needed reassurance at this time.

Boating Accident FAQs

What Is The Number One Cause Of Boating Accidents?

The majority of boating accidents are caused by operator error and negligence that could have been avoided with better operator instruction and attention. Specifically, the top five causes of boating accidents in 2019 were:

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Improper lookout
  3. Operator inexperience
  4. Excessive speed
  5. Alcohol use

If you have been injured in a boating accident and the boat operator was exhibiting some type of negligent behavior such as those listed above, you may be able to make a case for financial compensation. By working with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers, you can find out what type of compensation is appropriate.

What Is The Cause Of Most Fatal Boating Accidents?

In 2019, alcohol use was found to be the largest contributing factor of fatal boating accidents when the cause of the accident was able to be determined. Drinking while operating a boat is a type of reckless negligence that leads to many avoidable incidents.

What Is The Number One Cause Of Death In Boating Accidents?

According to 2019 statistics, the most common cause of death is drowning. Drowning victims account for 79% of fatal boating accident victims, and 86% of those victims were not wearing life jackets.

What Types Of Boating Accidents Must Be Reported?

When boating in Idaho, boating accidents must be reported to the sheriff of the county where the incident happened if the incident lines up any of the following criteria:

  • When personal or property damage involved is valued at more than $1,500
  • The incident caused an injury, fatality, or missing person

Federal law requires that accidents are reported according to state guidelines within the following timeline:

  • If someone is injured beyond basic first aid, dies, or goes missing, the incident must be reported within 48 hours.
  • If death or injury is not a major factor in the incident, it should be reported within 10 days.

Is Boating Insurance Required In Idaho?

Boating insurance is not legally required in Idaho; the state’s requirements for boating titling and registration is based on the type of boat but does not include insurance. Most boaters choose to get some type of boating insurance to protect themselves and their investments, but many boaters go uninsured as well.

If you are involved in an incident with an uninsured boat, it may greatly benefit you to get an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side to help you file your claim in the most effective way possible. Filing a suit against an uninsured party is different from what most people have experienced with insurance claims, so having someone with knowledge on your side is a big benefit.

Let Us Toss You A Lifeline

The caring attorneys at Skaug Law have experience helping those who have been injured in recreational accidents. We know that the conditions surrounding a boating accident can be both confusing and traumatic, and that can make sorting out what type of compensation you should seek complicated. Our experience in this area, however, can help you to sort out the mess that you are tired of dealing with alone.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help!